Sunday, July 20, 2014

Letting Go

Letting go, a very hard thing for me to do, be it letting go of a person, an outcome, money, time, or food. I
tend to keep my fingers shut in a childish way. And some of the things I hold onto are quite silly: my drawer full of milk chocolate after being vegan for a year and half; money that I have in the bank to pay bills; and extra time. I have Clenched Fist Disease. Letting go requires faith, faith that after I pay that huge bill another paycheck will arrive, or if I throw out that milk chocolate, the next time I have a craving I will have the money to go to the store and buy a bar of dark chocolate. It is almost as if parts of me are stuck back in preschool, "mine." We see this in our culture, people amassing huge amounts of wealth and keeping it (think Walmart and its billions in profits paying workers minimum wage). In this area of the country every time there is the threat of a huge storm we run to our local store and stock up, just in case. It is fine to be prepared, but fights have broken out over electronics at Christmas, and road rage (you are in my space, my way) is prevalent. Many of us do not wish to give our well-earned tax dollars to support needy families, and letting someone into the traffic flow is just not done.

Just how does one "let go?" I hear the phrase, "let go and let God" all the time, but easier said than done. Usually I can let go of the harder stuff: the divorce, the damaging fire, or a death in the family. But letting go of the day to day nuisances has me clenching my fists. I do still have a hidden drawer filled with non vegan chocolate, and I do worry that I will mess up that job interview next week and I do have enough money in the bank to pay the cable bill. But what if...what if I after I pay the cable bill my car will need repairs and I won't have enough money to buy food? What if I throw the chocolate away and I cannot transport myself to the store because my car is in for repairs? What if the sky turned green and pigs really did begin to fly and I was forced to eat Ramen noodles for the rest of my life? My fears can be ridiculous, but very very real. When  the fear has taken control I forget every single time that when I have let go of a situation and asked for help, help has come (maybe not in the form that I wished, but nevertheless it always arrives.)

Just last week I received a letter from the IRS telling this seasonally underemployed gal, that she owes $1,700. It was huge, and completely out of my control. I wrote the scenario down on a post it, and tucked it into my God Box. The situation was larger than I could manage. I then asked for help and contacted a tax accountant, and a few days later received an answer. I did do my taxes correctly, but I need to contact one of my reporting agencies. A solution, one that I would never have thought of on my own. By placing the situation in my God Box, I allowed my fists to unclench, I allowed my faith to begin working, reminding me that I am going to be ok no matter what. And if the end result is that I have to pay $1,700, I will make a payment plan. I won't be force to eat Ramen noodles for the rest of my life, while pushing a shopping cart around. Letting go goes against my nature, but when I accomplish this monumental task, amazing results follow. When I let go of my need for a particular job six years ago, I ended up attending Mount Holyoke College, which turned out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. If I had held on, I would not be where I am today. Today I have an amazing life, a part time summer job I enjoy, a beautiful partner to share my life with, an amazing son and a group of friend I adore. When I can remember that these are the results of letting go, maybe, just maybe I can throw away that milk chocolate and pay my cable bill. If I choose to hold on, well, the consequences are there, just waiting.